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Mississauga set to enforce vaccine policy for all city employees and volunteers
Aug. 27, 2021
Hannah Alberga

The City of Mississauga announced Thursday that all city employees and volunteers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 31.

“As an employer and the operator of many front-line services, the City of Mississauga has a duty to ensure we create a safe working environment. A vaccination policy will help us to do this and will align Mississauga with the many other public and private sector organizations that are moving in the same direction,” Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said.

At a COVID-19 update, Crombie said employees will be asked to disclose their vaccination status between Sept. 15 to Sept. 23.

Those who do not provide proof of full vaccination by the end of October must complete routine COVID-19 testing before entering the workplace. Employees who are not vaccinated and who do not have a valid human rights exception will be required to take an education program, Crombie said.

If employees or volunteers refuse to disclose their vaccination status or get vaccinated, they will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before entering the workplace, beginning on Nov. 1.

The new policy will apply to the City of Mississauga’s 7,000 employees, across all departments, and will be finalized in the coming weeks, the city said.

Alongside Peel’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh, Crombie urged the need for a standardized province-wide proof of vaccine program, rather than a patchwork of approaches.

“I think we need a universal and uniform proof of vaccination that can be applied right across the province, not region to region, not by businesses, not by chambers of commerce,” she said.

Dr. Loh echoed Crombie’s message, insisting on the need for a “consistent provincial approach.”

In the absence of a province-wide program, “Peel Public Health is also actively exploring with other health units what could be done locally on a vaccine certificate program,” Dr. Loh said on Wednesday. 

Following his remarks, Mississauga’s special council passed a motion in favour of supporting Dr. Loh’s urge for a provincial vaccine certificate program.

Mayor John Tory said on Tuesday he would be open to a “regional” vaccine certificate program, if the Ford government continues to turn down the possibility of introducing a province-wide approach.

Premier Doug Ford was asked in July if he would consider a vaccine passport program. In response, he said, “The answer is no, we're not gonna do it. We're not gonna have a split society.”

However, one Ontario MPP who refused to get vaccinated was expelled from caucus this month, after the Ford government confirmed all members would be required to get fully vaccinated.